Executive Corner – Gary Stromberg

June 18, 2019

The Executive Corner is a new weekly feature of the Addiction/Recovery eBulletin. We send our participants forty questions and ask them to choose twenty they would like to answer. It includes a short profile and a link to their website. We hope you enjoy it.



Gary Stromberg co-founded GIBSON & STROMBERG, a large and influential public relations firm of the sixties and seventies. The company represented such luminaries as The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, Muhammad Ali, Barbra Streisand, Boyz II Men, Ray Charles, The Doors, Earth, Wind & Fire, Elton John, and Crosby, Stills, & Nash. He also spent time in the film business where he co-produced the motion pictures Car Wash (Universal Studios) and The Fish that Saved Pittsburgh (Lorimar/United Artists). He’s also written three books, The Harder They Fall (Hazelden Publishing) and Feeding the Fame (Hazelden) and a third book for McGraw-Hill Publishing, entitled Second Chances. He’s currently writing a fourth book, She’s Come Undone. He currently runs The BLACKBIRD Group, a small public relations firm in Marina del Rey, California.

Q. If you are in recovery, what was your DOC and when did you discontinue its use? 
A. Yes … DOC shifted through the years. Heroin was my LAST DOC. I stopped in 1982    

Q. At which of the schools you attended did you learn the most?
A.  Hard Knocks U.   

Q. Do you believe leaders are made or born? 
A.  Made, of course. How else can you explain Lincoln, MLK, Obama etc.      

Q. Which film have you watched the most? 
A.  The Godfather    

Q. Who is your favorite celebrity in recovery?
A. Russell Brand  

Q. If you ever retire, would you prefer to live by the ocean, lake, river, or mountaintop, or penthouse? 
A. I AM retired and I live near the ocean.     

Q. What is your favorite hotel or resort? 
A. I’m not a resort kind of guy     

Q. Where do you go to “get away”?
A. Maui  

Q. What is your biggest or littlest pet peeve? 
A. Smokers  

Q. How do you measure success? 
A. I don’t. I’m not qualified!  

Q. If you had an extra million dollars, which charity would you donate it to?
A. Habitat For Humanity   

Q. Who was your biggest influence throughout your life? A.  The man/woman upstairs  

Q. What is your current hobby?
A. Playing the saxophone

Q. What prominent fe/male figure would you most like to date?
A. Phoebe Waller-Bridge 

Q. If you were giving a dinner party for your 3 favorite authors, Living or dead, who would they be? (choose 4 if you think one might be too drunk or stoned to attend.)
A.Good question … Henry Miller, Jim Harrison, Annie Lamott and Doris Kearns Goodwin

Q. What is your FAVORITE Radio show, news show? 
A. Fresh Air w/ Terry Gross and All Things Considered

Q. What is your FAVORITE APP, or Podcast?
A. Fresh Air 

Q. What is your FAVORITE TV/cable/digital series? 
A. Too many to name them all. Peaky Blinders and right now, Fleabag 

Q. Who is your FAVORITE Director?
A. Martin Scorsese

Q. What is your FAVORITE Museum?
A. The Guggenheim … I like walking in circles 

Q. What is your FAVORITE Band/composer/musical artist? 
A. Earth Wind and Fire, Mozart and Ray Charles

Q. What is your FAVORITE Broadway musical/play?
A. Hamilton, The Lion King and Les Miserables

Q. What is your FAVORITE Sport to watch? To play?
A. Basketball and boxing. Swimming 

Q. What is your FAVORITE Snack?
A. Trail mix

Q. What is your FAVORITE Cuisine? 
A. Sushi

Q. What is your FAVORITE Restaurant?
A. Nobu   

Q.What is your FAVORITE City?
A. New York 

Q.  Have you ever been arrested and, if so, what for?
A.  Yes, possession of drugs   

Q. Do you have any children? 
A. Two that I know of…     

Q. What books are you reading now?
A. Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari and just finished Leadership by Doris Kearns Goodwin and Jesus’ Son by Denis Johnson

Q. Do you take work home with you? 
A. When I work, I work at home  

Q. What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given? 
A. Keep your chin down 

Q. What is the best piece of advice you’ve given?
A. The lighthouse doesn’t run around the island looking for boats to save. 

Q. Do you think addiction is an illness, a disease, a choice, or a wicked twist of fate? 
A. A wicked twist of a disease 

Q. What are five things you always carry with you?
A. Shame, guilt, car keys, a wallet and reading glasses 

Q. What’s the greatest risk you’ve ever taken?
A. Getting sober and getting married 

Q. What is the proudest moment in your life? 
A. The birth of my children 

Q. Is there a favorite “Quote” you would like to share? 
A. ”Look back, but don’t stare.”  

Q. What is your favorite Weekly News Bulletin?
A.  Loaded question!